Supporting rural community adaptation to climate change in mountain regions of Djibouti

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status


Implementing period

From February 10, 2015 to October 21, 2020

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  2. 13.2 Integrate climate change into national policies, planning
  3. 13.b Build capacity for climate change planning, management

Project ID: 5189

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Technical team

  • Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Cross-sectoral climate resilient livelihoods
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation


  • Human altered areas


  • Rural areas

Transformed sector(s)

  • Forestry and other land use

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Institutional mechanism and system building


  • Capacity building
  • Technology innovation
  • Governance


  • Institutional capacity building
  • Community capacity building
  • Technical capacity building
  • Innovations in techniques/ approaches
  • Infrastructure building
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Inter-sectoral coordination

Social inclusion

  • Women
  • Smallholder farmers

Gender equality

  • Women's access to and control over resources
  • Women farmers

Gender result effectiveness scale

  • Gender targeted


  • People pathway
  • Systems pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience, adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change into national policies, planning
  • 13.b Build capacity for climate change planning, management

Conventions and protocols

  • National Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • National Adaptation Plan (NAP)

Private sector(s)

  • Individuals/Entrepreneurs

Hot topic

  • Nature-based solution
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy
  • Poverty reduction

About this project


Country profile: The Republic of Djibouti is a small multi-ethnic nation of over 860,200 inhabitants lies in Northeast Africa on the Gulf of Aden at the southern entrance to the Red Sea with a land area of about 23,000 km. The small country has experienced exceptional economic growth in recent years; still, it has one of the lowest human development index ratings (172nd of 188 countries), and the lowest among the Arab states. The country is affected by poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition and limited access to services, and is vulnerable to climate change-induced risks. The pressure from the migrant and refugee populations strains its limited resources and infrastructure. The development situation in rural areas is compounded by fragile ecosystems, vulnerability to climate change and water scarcity. Poor soil, limited vegetation, low rainfall and rising temperatures constrain agricultural development and aggravate dependency on imports of basic goods. They also threaten cattle production, and the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and herders, especially women (IMF report 2017) Surface water resources are extremely limited, and underground water requires intensive extraction. The nomadic populations in Djibouti and the neighbouring countries must move over increasing distances, often across borders, in search of pasture, disrupting social cohesion and traditional mechanisms of dispute and conflict resolution. The use of firewood by rural communities without access to modern, clean energy sources exacerbates the pressure on fragile ecosystems. The coastal areas, where 88 per cent of the population live, host critical biological diversity and marine ecosystems that are at risk in the absence of protection and sustainable management. Climate change has eroded communities' resilience (World Bank 2009) and reduced opportunities for sustainable development. As noted by Djibouti's Second National Communication on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2014), the country may see a 2.4° Celsius temperature rise and up to a 17 per cent reduction in rainfall by 2050. In recognition of its climate vulnerability, the country developed, national adaptation plan, and submitted its nationally determined contributions to implement the Paris Agreement, setting its vision for climate action and calling for approximately $1 billion in new investments. The priority is to address increased exposure to droughts and floods to reduce social vulnerability and damage to physical assets and sources of livelihoods. Impacts from erratic rainfall are intensified in upland regions, where severe flood events cause significant erosion and damage to livelihoods.At the national level , the absence of a national climate change strategy and institutional mechanisms to promote cross-sectoral/cross-ministerial coordination and to mobilise funds hampers efforts to address long-term climate-related risks in rural regions. At regional and local levels, particularly in remote mountain regions, communities lack the financial, technical and informational resources needed to build their resilience to climate change as well as the knowledge of how to prepare for extreme weather impacts. As climate change evolves, and floods and droughts become more severe and frequent in Djibouti, there is a need to identify approaches for reducing the vulnerability of farmers and pastoralists to rainfall variability. Project description: In consultation with the national counterpart for the project “the Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Djibouti”, the project steering committee selected two mountainous location to implement the project, namely Adaillou and Assamo areas. The geographical location selection was based on integrated criteria of vulnerability to climate change and the potential for scale up of the project investments and technical support to maximize the impact of the project, these included - The current poverty rate and the potential for income-generating activities in the targeted communities; - The availability of surface water and harvesting storage potential- The potential for agro-pastoral development- The extend of extreme vulnerability of the populations to climate change and a demonstrable need for support (the north-west of the country - in which Adaillou is situated - and the south-east (Assamo) have been worst-affected by the ongoing drought) - The accessibility for project implementation (machinery, raw materials, supervision)- Shared commonalities (needs, risks, barriers, socio-cultural context, etc.) with baseline projects while avoiding needless duplication; and (g) addressing the needs of both the Afar and Issa communities The key interventions recommended by the NAPA includes: - At the national level the project is designed to support the reactivation of the National Climate Change Committee to coordinate cross-sectoral actions and to ensure effective use of resources and generation of co-benefits for activities supporting adaptation to climate change.- At the regional (sub-national) level target areas: develop drought and flood preparedness plans and to support regional capacities for disaster risk management and reduction. - At the local level, reduce the vulnerability of rural mountain populations to climate change by mobilizing and storing surface and groundwater resources, diversifying livelihoods, enabling access to markets, and reducing erosion through reforestation and re-vegetation. The local-level activities will be facilitated by establishing strong coordination with locally-based NGOs/CSOs. In addition, synergies between the project and the LDCF resources are expected to enhance the adaptive capacity of vulnerable populations in Djibouti to respond to extreme weather events and to facilitate long-term resilience to climate change.


Reduction of climate-related vulnerabilities facing the inhabitants of mountainous regions of Djibouti through institutional strengthening, climate-smart water management and targeted investment.

USD $5,479,452

Grant amount

USD $28,630,000

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Least Developed Countries Fund ($5,479,452)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Government of Djibouti

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation